Redemption 2015


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After eating a large pot of tag stew made from Idaho Moose, Elk, Deer, Bear, Mountain Lion, and Wolf in 2014, I am looking for some redemption. That uncut moose tag was especially painful. I did have some actual Wyoming Antelope stew last year, and that was quite nice.

I start off 2015 with spring bear, of course. My buddy and I have put out over 4 thousand pounds of pastries and bagels this spring. It really starts to wear a guy out keeping the bears fed! We have had a few good ones on our baits this year. Just getting some good trail camera pictures is reward enough, but seeing bears is awesome.

A real Giant!

Another pretty good fatty, for a spring bear.


Not too bad, at least he come in the light.

I took that fine boar in the last picture about 5 minutes after my honey burn stopped smoking the other day. We were only in the stand about 20 minutes, and here he came. He winded us 10 yards out, but I got off a quick shot, and put him on the ground! Just what I needed, another dang chocolate colored bear!! I should have let him walk, lol. We?re having bear stakes tonight.


I'm heading to Utah?s La Sal mountains for the Summer Bait hunt this month. Hopefully I get more redemption down there. I'm hoping for a large Black or Blonde?I'll try hard to resist shooting another brown bear.

Meanwhile, I'll be waiting for Idaho and Wyoming draw results.


Redemption continues

It continues with a great family vacation. Southern Utah is renowned for both its beautiful vistas and great big game hunting. I placed bait at my two sites over Memorial Day weekend, then returned to hunt on June 6th, the opening day of the ?Summer Bait? season. Bears were all over the baits! Hundreds of pictures of at least 12 different bears! But we took a little time to see some sites and bake in the sun first.



My boys found this neat table and chairs creation?someone went to a lot of work to move these rocks.


My wife is so patient with my hunting addictions. She does enjoy camping and site seeing, so we all had a good time.


It was nice to return to the mountains when the desert got to be almost 100 degrees.


The first night sitting the bait, we all were there, but a huge thunderstorm rolled in and we were clobbered with lightening, hail, and rain. We had to make an emergency break for camp. The second night, the boys and I sat in nearly unbearable heat, but we watched 7different bears at the bait site. We let them all walk. I would have loved to shoot a big blackie, but on the third evening, my youngest boy and I took advantage of a perfect evening of weather to watch the bears. This bear was at the bait when we arrived.


After studying him for a while, I decided to take him. The trail camera captured the action. Here he is after the ole .270 barked.



We went and got the rest of the family to help with pictures and packing the bear. When we got back, another bear was on the bait! He did not want to leave either, lol.


This bear had a 18 2/8? skull, and was 6? nose to tail. Not the largest on the mountain, I'm sure, but a nice boar. He didn't have the nicest coat either, but id does have a nice blend of colors?I like it.



RE: Redemption continues

We had this big feller show up on the last day of the Idaho season, while I was down in Utah hunting...what a bear!



Wyoming draw = no antelope tag, bummer!

Idaho came through though. My son and I drew a Muzzy bull elk tags, and my daughter drew a controlled fall bear tag and a controlled rifle elk tag. I will have a full fall of hunting with all of these tags...I cant wait.


Muzzleloader Elk

I am looking forward to a muzzleloader hunt again. My brother and I used to only hunt deer with our traditional lead flingers back in the day (80s and 90s). In 2008 he was with me when I took this Utah muzzleloader bull. It was a short, but fun hunt. I shot the 10th bull I saw that day, right at dark. Kinda wish he had held my primers, lol, but he did not. The bull ran 30-40 yards and piled up hard. I will be using my 54 caliber Hawkins traditional with a 530 grain buffalo bullet again this year in Idaho. It sure did a job on this elk 7 years ago.



Fall hunting has begun: Emily's bear hunt

My daughter Emily had the luck this year in the Idaho controlled hunt draw, picking up a great elk tag in SE Idaho and a highly coveted bear tag in western Idaho. I am quite jealous! The bear hunt had an early opener of Aug 15th so the family and I took advantage of these pre-school start days to make the trip. We got to the campground late in the evening the night before. I took a quick stroll up the canyon with Ethan to look for bear sign. Just a few yards from the road I found a Fish and Game bear trap. This was a good sign that bears had been or were in the area, although all the sign was at least a few weeks old, and I saw no tracks. I was super excited, yet equally concerned about the trip timing and whether we would see bears.


Morning came soon enough, and Emily and I made our way up the northern ridge of the canyon right at shooting light. We arrived at the anticipated lookout spot and found a place to sit. It didn't take long to spot a doe and fawn on the opposite hillside. Just 15 to 20 minutes into glassing, I spotted a bear! It was 430 yards away, just wandering around, but too far for Emily to shoot. I took a few pictures with my phone through the spotter. It looked like a good one!


Just as quick as he appeared, he disappeared into a small patch of brush and trees. This was pretty open country, but bears have an uncanny ability to hide. We saw a cinnamon bear a few minutes later that also vanished into the thick, yet sparse cover. Here is a picture of the canyon.


While glassing for bears, I was also looking for the food source that was bringing them to this area. At last, I spotted a tree in the bottom loaded with yellow fruit; it looked like an apricot tree. Many branches were broken and void of fruit, clear evidence that bears had been feeding in the tree. I knew they would be back.


Hunger overcame us and we headed back to camp for some breakfast. French toast and bacon was a delicious treat and really hit the spot. We drove down the river to look for further bear sign. ?Right there?, I shouted, as I spotted a tree, just like the one up the canyon. It was covered in bright yellow fruit. All along the road were these trees with red and yellow fruit. We stopped and picked a bag full. I was first with enough courage to try them. ?Plums?, I quipped. Wild plum trees were distributed all along the river and creek bottoms. Bears love them.


After a short rest, we grabbed a sandwich and headed back up the canyon. It was hot, 90 degrees or better. The soil cooked my rear as I sat on the hillside. Not long after taking our seat on the steep southern exposure, Emily excitedly exclaimed ?I see a bear.? Sure enough, there it was, 150 yards below us. It again slipped into the brush and out of sight. I reassured her I was confident the bear would show itself again before light. We waited patiently. ?Maybe if we get out the roast beef, he'll show up again? Emily suggested. Perhaps he would, so we ate our lunch. A doe and fawn made their way along the canyon wall, right to the spot where the bear had stood. At one point, the deer spooked and ran up the hillside. ?The bear must still be in there? I whispered. A few minutes later, a bear came out of the brush and headed up the same trail the deer had taken. I looked him over in through the spotter and made sure it had a good coat on it. Emily told me she wanted to take this bear. As quickly as he had appeared, he went back into the brush. This time it only took a minute or two for him to exit the brush heading straight up the opposite hillside 175 yards away.

I set up the spotting scope for a solid gun rest, and told her to take the bear when she had a good shot. ?But warn me first,? I requested. Two or three seconds later she said ?I'm gona shoot.? My binoculars were at the ready and I watched the bear stop and turn broadside. ?BOOM?, the rifle barked. The bear hit the ground hard, and then slid 30 yards straight down the hillside out of sight into the brush. A few death moans later and we knew he was finished. The bear was standing right here when she shot.


I used the radio to summon the boys to come up and help skin and pack the bear. The boys hiked up the other side of the river, but Emily and I had to wade across the knee-deep river barefooted. We found a fresh bear track while doing so.


The short distance to the bear was mired with extremely steep hillsides, briars, brush, trees, and yes, a rattlesnake. We finally made it to the bear, and dragged him from the brush for a few pictures.



What a great time. Thank you boys for help packing out gear and the bear! I really enjoyed the time spent with Emily on this hunt. This isn't Emily?s first bear, or her biggest bear. However, it is her first spot and stalk bear hunt, and one that provided a lot of very fond memories for me and her. The whole family had a good time, and now they can get home to football and drill team practice haha. Another bear hunt in the books.

I'm now ready to focus on elk hunting. Time to do some scouting, and setting bear baits, of coarse.


More Scouting

It's time for a brief update. Ive seen a few really nice bucks this summer. Not sure if I'll get an opportunity for a shot, but they are in my unit!



The bears are already hitting my baits hard. It might be difficult keeping them fed at this rate. This beautiful boar is mocking our ability to catch him on the barrel. We'll see, there are lots of hunting days left! My son really wants a shot at this bear.



Meanwhile, my brother took this fine elk with his Utah LE any weapon tag. He had practiced all summer for a long-range hunting opportunity with his new rifle, then he ended up hammering this 6x7 growler at 27 yards, haha. Congrats Mark on a great bull!


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